Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

A Mail Survey of Ouija Board Users in North America

Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

A Mail Survey of Ouija Board Users in North America

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT: A nonrandom sample of 373 respondents derived mostly from an ad in Fate magazine and an advertisement on the Rhine Research Center web page, returned a survey of Ouija Board use that consisted of 19 primary restricted-choice items and one open-ended question asking for their most memorable experience with the Board. The sample was 73% female with a mean age of 40. Large majorities of the respondents claimed involuntary movements of the planchette at least once, about half having experienced this in their first session, either alone or with others. Over 90% claimed successful communication with a spirit at least once. About two-thirds of the sample claimed at least one negative experience with the Board, and about half said they had felt a compulsion to use it. Principle components factor analysis of the scale yielded seven orthogonal factors as the optimal solution. A spirit communication factor was associated with use of the Board with others, and a trance factor was associated with use of the Boar d alone. There was also a strong negativity factor. Separate factors for age, sex, and neurological disorders indicated that these individual difference variables were not predictive of the specific Ouija Board experiences sampled. Respondents who claimed to have used the Board alone were sent a personality questionnaire consisting of the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS) and Persinger's scale of Complex Partial Epileptic Signs (CPES). The return rate was 72% (N = 165). The mean scores on both scales were substantially higher than the published norms, with those responding to a second solicitation scoring higher to an almost significant degree on CPES than those responding to the first solicitation. …

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